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Feb 25 / kkrizka

Why Does Popcorn Cost So Much at the Movies?


A short while ago PhyOrg run a story on the cost of popcorn in movie cinemas and the reason for the high price as given in a study by Wesley Hartmann Ricard Gil. After examining the revenue data of many theaters, they concluded the high concession prices are due to the fact that they allow cheaper ticket prices. The logic for it is as follows: since there are many “diehard moviegoers” who are willing to pay $5-$10 for a small bag of popcorn no matter what, the theaters can use this profit to “pay for” a portion of the ticket of the average person. This means that a wider audience will afford to go see a movie, which in turn results in even more revenue from advertisers and so on.

Seeing this study from the perspective of a consumer, it changes my opinion of the cinemas. Now I know they are not trying to create some kind of a concession monopoly on their premises, but instead they want to allow me to see more movies for a lower price. Since I do not purchase any food in the theatre anyways, I see it as a good thing.

How about you? Would you rather pay $10 for a ticket and $5 for popcorn or $15 for a ticket and a few cents for popcorn?

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One Comment

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  1. spiritofcat / Feb 27 2008

    Yeah, charge as much as you want to for the popcorn! I’m not buying it whatever the price is, but if it means my ticket is cheaper then that’s great!

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